Sunday, June 29, 2014

Week 4-Broad River Association, FBC Troy Acteens, Blue Ridge Community College, FBC Gleason, Collierville FBC

Rosamond
Week 4 at Rosamond was nothing short of spectacular. Broad River Association was in town from South Carolina and though the team came from different churches, they lived out Paul’s words in Philippians when he calls the church to “stand firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel.” By Tuesday, the kids were showing up to Bible club by 9:30, an hour and a half before club starts, purely because they just couldn’t wait to get there. Our kids are normally reluctant to learn new songs, especially ones that aren’t repeat-after-me songs, but the song Broad River taught on Monday about a little white box was such a hit that the kids wanted to sing it every day! Each station was exceptional this week and as a result, we had very few runners. Games had a big parachute, Connect Four, and frisbee relays; crafts had Bible verse centered crafts; and Bible story kept the kids engaged as each story was related back to the kids’ lives. The team spanked water day on Thursday as the kids had the most fun they’ve had all summer as they rotated with their small group though eight different water games, and Broad River even brought towels for all the kids to walk home with afterwards. As a staffer, I am overjoyed thinking back on the week and how much love was poured out onto the kids this week. Each team member continually poured out every ounce of energy and love they had in them and it was evident in the kids’ energy and excitement about Bible Club throughout the week. Thank you, Broad River Association, for your continual work at Rosamond and your willingness to serve this week. You have exemplified what it looks like to be filled up and sent out each and every day. Rosamond couldn’t have been blessed with a better group of servant hearts and I’m excited to see how the seeds that were planted grow in the upcoming weeks. All praise and glory to Him.
-Ashley
National
First Baptist Chesnee from Chesnee, South Carolina was ready to get back to National for the second year in a row. From the beginning on Sunday night during orientation the team was already asking about kids they fell in love with last summer and were able to minister to making sure they would be able to continue to pour into them this week. Their passion to be back was evident. They loved the returning and new kids with an abundant love that comes from the Father. On Wednesday, we had 56 kids come to National, making it our record for the week! The team was prepared for songs which you could hear from all over the park. Their energy never faded throughout the week. First Baptist Chesnee brought a tug of war rope and the kids got really into that having team names such as Team Jesus, The Bible is Awesome, Team Bible, etc. Every team name was centered around Jesus and even more special was the kids came up with the team names themselves. The Word of God is truly coming alive in the park every morning. Here are some glimpses into the Word of God coming alive: a new family began coming to Bible Club one day and all the teams had been dismissed from the park to walk home, so Ariel (National’s Missionary-in-Training) and I were waiting with them for their mom and cleaning up the park. When their mom showed up Ariel led them to their mom’s car and the little boy repeated over and over again, “I had a lot of fun, I had so much fun, I had a lot of fun…”. Another boy who has been a consistent face at Bible club all summer long was able to be poured into abundantly. The team who was on his route would give him their camera every day at Bible Club and he would take pictures upon pictures at each of his stations. Normally we will always have to talk about his behavior at Bible Club, but having that camera to keep his attention fully and the team members pouring into him changed his behavior completely. The love of Christ from these couple of team members changed his whole attitude. I am thankful for team members who have the eyes of Christ to notice the kids who need that little bit of extra love and then put in the effort to love deeper. At the craft station this week, one our girls was doing her craft and gave her favorite baby doll, Dorothy, to two of the team members as she told them, "I want you to have this so you can remember me." In Bible story with the 6-8 year olds, they mentioned the name Jesus and immediately the kids just began talking all about what Jesus has done. They just let them talk and even though there may have not been a Bible story told the kids were sharing what they have learned about who Jesus is. The kids coming to Bible Club are finding something attractive in every single team member, and it is Jesus Christ. I am thankful that every day, National kids are seeing Jesus and the transforming power of the gospel. We are excited to enter into the second half of the summer at National and continue to be expectant for what the Lord is going to do. God is preparing a harvest. Be in prayer for National, for all of our kids, for the rest of the teams and for kids to continue to be poured into with the steadfast and abundant love of Christ. Pray that every conversation would be seasoned with salt, full of grace, and gospel centered.
-Gaby

Guernsey
This week at Guernsey we were blessed to serve alongside one of our local teams, Collierville First Baptist Church! The week started off rainy, but that didn't stop the G-Street kids from coming to Bible Club thanks to this willing team. Whether it was chasing dogs that wanted to run around club or explaining to sweet Travis that just because his favorite color is blue that does NOT mean he walks on the blue route, this team was fluid. On one of our rainy days, the radio for songs decided to not work, but the team knew exactly what to do! They continued to lead the kids and sang a capella about how God had molded every mountain and poured out every sea. They went on to explain that He created the world and He was still with each of us right then! Many of the kids came up to me with numerous questions about these fun songs and it was such a blessing to see them memorize them and sing them throughout the week. Each day the team (and several kids from Bible Club) acted out Bible stories such as Jesus calming the storm, Joseph and his coat of many colors, and Jonah and the whale. They were so amazed with the power of Jesus and it was humbling and an example to see them in awe of it. Throughout on-going soccer games that had ended in a tie the day before, planting flowers in crafts, or even blowing bubbles and playing play dough with the sweet pre-k kids, Jesus' love was definitely poured out onto each child this week. Many seeds were planted and I'm excited to see how they continue to grow throughout the summer. Thank you, Collierville FBC, for allowing Jesus to work through you and for oozing His love onto the kids at Guernsey this week! 
-Sarah
Johnson
Our third week at Johnson was one to remember. We had 31 people from Broad River Baptist Association running the site and they did a great job with it. We were able to add new routes and minister to a bunch of new kids. We had 80 or more kids on the last two days of the week and the kids seemed to be having a great time. Every member on our team was new so it was great to be able to share their first experience of Street Reach with them. Broad River was truly the hands of Jesus this week and it was great seeing the kids receive so much love.
-Chris

Whittier
This week, Whittier kids were lavished in God’s love by the members of Midway Baptist Church and Crestview Baptist Church, both members of the Broad River Association. Longtime members of the Street Reach family and longtime returners to Whittier, this team was full of passion for the children of Whittier, and consistently increased with energy and enthusiasm as the week continued. Thick humidity and drizzly downpours could not bring kids or team members down, as the team members of Broad River submitted themselves as human jungle gyms, with kids clinging to every neck and back available to them each day. Numbers remained consistent with the previous three weeks, and our kids loved being spoiled with goodies such as fruit roll-ups and Capri Suns each day after club. Activities in all stations were unique, as team members brought new games, craft projects, and Bible story visual aids to the site in order to further relationships with these kids and point them to the gospel. Whittier kids could easily recite the stories and verses that they had been taught each day, and proudly displayed their related craft that they had meticulously put together. However, the greatest joy came on Friday when the Holy Spirit greatly moved during Bible story, and Bible story leader Ms. Luann had a chance to speak to sweet Destiny about inviting Jesus into her heart and beginning a lifelong relationship with Him. After praying together, both Destiny and Ms. Luann were filled with joy, as the angels threw a party in Heaven and the Kingdom was added to! Destiny will now be a part of the discipleship program at Street Reach so as to solidify her understanding of her decision. Praise the Lord for such a beautiful divine appointment and for the boldness of Ms. Luann to lead children to the One who repairs our brokenness and comforts us with His mighty hands. We are excited for more decisions to be made this summer, and are expecting the Holy Spirit to continue to move in huge ways as the Lord reclaims and repairs this community for the sake of His great name! Thank you, Broad River, for answering the call and impacting the Whittier site this week!
-Emily
Pope
This week at Pope we were so grateful to serve with the Acteens of Troy Missouri. We had a team of 8 who got to experience the infamous Candy Lady on Thursday, and more importantly, got to experience Street Reach for the first time. The kids had so much fun this week, especially in crafts with pigs, bracelets, and so much more! Our team poured Christ’s love out incredibly well. We had many new kids who came to Bible Club this week as well as many who have been coming all summer. Although Pope is receiving a break from Bible Club this next week, I know FBC Troy left Memphis praying for every single child to come back! I can’t wait for the rest of the summer! “Let your spirit lead me on level ground!” Psalm 143
-Alli

Jackson
We had a great week out at Jackson Park with FBC Gleason! Bible story was headed by some of the adult leaders that really had the kids engaged from start to finish. Crafts were a big hit with their necklaces, picture frames, and bracelets that the kids adored! Games got very competitive with some intense relay races and duck-duck-goose for the little tykes. Songs jammed to some Street Reach traditions: Little Red Wagon and Bazooka Bubble gum! We even got to do some “Singing in the rain”…literally! Tuesday brought a flood, but the group stayed strong and the kids loved it. Battling the weather, we topped out at 38 kids with some new faces in the mix. Praise The Lord for another great week full of laughter, smiles, and Jesus!
-Alice, Brett, & Noah 

Treadwell
It is a special summer of “throwbacks” for me...I’ve gotten to spend time at Kendrick and now Treadwell again!   What a blessing it was to be back in the Treadwell area and I’m so thankful for FBC Collierville’s willingness to serve in a new area so that the kids could have Bible Club this week. Let me tell you, the kids had a blast!  Despite the dreary weather we had at the beginning of the week, club continued to grow and new kids were enrolled each day! Our music and Bible stories were wonderful and then the children were able to rotate through stations that reiterated the lessons they’d heard. We started out in the Old Testament with stories of Joseph, Moses, and Jonah, and then traveled to the New Testament to learn about Jesus and His disciples. The kids were able to see Christ in each story and we ended with a clear presentation of the gospel--Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. We had several families stop by to ask what we were doing and then bring their children to their first ever Bible Club. We were especially excited about a new child from Guatemala that had just moved into our neighborhood. No one in her home speaks English, but some of the team was able to translate and she had a great time at her first Bible Club! We also had another family of four come for the first time and their aunt was so excited to see how they were pulled right in and it seemed like the team had known them forever. We are all so blessed to be part of God’s work in Memphis. I can’t believe He has chosen us to be His hands and feet, but I am so thankful that He did. Thanks CFBC for a great week, we can’t wait to see what else God does in the Treadwell neighborhood this summer!
-Kacie 
Kippley

This week at Bible Club Kippley sure has been interesting, but good none the less. A group from Blue Ridge Community College came to love on these kids. In just one week, our cumulative enrollment of children who have attended our bible club have increased by 50%! Listening to children answer questions about the previous day’s Bible story warmed my heart. I even got to have a good and long conversation with Terrell, Jaylen, and Cameron about sin and God's war with it. I asked them what they thought was wrong. Their answers included: murder, raping little kids, stealing, and muggings. We talked about how each of these things is a result of sin and not as God designed life to be. We talked about the war God is waging to bring the world back to perfection where there is no wrong. We talked about how our bodies will not get old or sick or die, and how Jesus will even raise up the dead. We also talked about what God will do with sin and evil and Satan. Terrell asked, “if God is gonna punish everyone who has done wrong, then only those who are good get to be in that perfect place?” So I explained how NO ONE is good. Only Jesus has ever been. So we then talked about how Jesus took the punishment in our place. I wish everyone could have seen the look on their faces as we engaged in conversation. The curiosity, the intrigue, the enjoyment, and the understanding that seeped onto their facial expressions were clear as day. All in all, a week of seeing water turn to wine, tearing down a cardboard wall of Jericho, making crafts of all shapes and sizes, and playing some crazy games including the very first Bible Club swing, was satisfying to the children’s desire for safety and fun. Continue to pray for these kids, as we will not have Bible Club at Kippley next week. Pray that God will continue to work despite our absence, and that His harvest would yield plentiful.
-Kaden

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Week 3-Unity Baptist Church, Heartland Baptist Church, Yadkin Baptist Church, FBC Brunswick, FBC Fisherville, Munford Baptist Church, & Calvary Church

Rosamond
Rosamond was rocking this week as Calvary Church was in the house from St. Louis, Missouri. God was continually glorified as the team poured out energy, excitement, and most importantly, the love of Christ each day despite the higher temperatures. Monday started off with a bang as 68 eager kids showed up for Bible club. With extra hands on deck, we were able to knock on the apartments this week and new kids were able to have their first week of club. Throughout the week, as kids were being dropped off by their parents, they would tell me how they just couldn’t wait to get to club and how excited they were to be there. The time before club started each day was special this week as the kids would run around gleefully either playing with bubble wands, jumping rope with the long jump rope, or just enjoying one-on-one conversations with the team members. Each station was hopping as Bible story came with suckers, and games treated the kids to water day on Friday. This week, one of the girls that came on Monday week 1 and had not been back since was able to be dropped off my her Nana every day. Jaskya is such a joy to have at club as she can always be found either laughing or making sure the other kids are following the rules. As we were waiting on her Nana to come and pick her up, she was telling me how much she loved Bible Club and all of the team members that came to play with her. She continued to tell me that she liked helping me pick up trash because she wanted Bible Club to be clean for all of the other kids the next day. Jaskya is only four years old but already, through the servant hearts of Calvary, she is learning that Christ’s love is not only shared through words but also through humility and deeds. Thank you, Calvary, for being such a blessing to our precious kids. Your hard work and willing spirits have left a lasting impression not only on the kids you loved on but also myself. He was increased and we were decreased and He was glorified greatly though it all.
-Ashley
National
What a refreshing week at National Bible club! FBC Fisherville loved and served our kids so well that Gaby and I were able to simply watch without anxiety as Jesus poured out joy upon joy through the team.
Hailing from a mere half hour drive away, this team is one of our local missions teams. I am very encouraged by their desire to stay in contact with the kids throughout the year.
Though we walked fewer routes than last week, we still had kids pouring into the park, reaching a peak at 48 kids on Thursday.
The kids were pumped up at songs, especially when they got to do motions with partners. They were thrilled with the crafts that tied back to the Bible stories. They were constantly giggling as they wielded pool noodles and waddled in flippers at games. They were amazingly attentive to Bible stories about God's faithfulness to his people, such as Moses and Naman. Each day they learned a new name for God and attribute of God's character to shout loudly. They even took a "field trip" to see their Bible club neighbor, Mr. Sheep, as they read Psalm 23.
What struck me about this team was the genuineness of their love. So often as believers we serve with faulty motives--to feel good about ourselves or to gain praise. This team was an excellent example of service that is truly motivated by Christ's love. They loved when they thought no one was watching. They loved without age boundaries; even the elderly men and women on our streets. They loved those hardest to love.
On this note, I observed something miraculous in one little boy who typically wreaks the most havoc at Bible club. It's not abnormal to see him ripping crafts, running out of stations, or pushing kids. But this team believed in him, that he was loved by Jesus and that his heart could be changed to good. They saw each interaction with him as a divine appointment. They were willing to wrestle him to the ground if necessary. It took a whole team, but by Friday I saw an abundance of joy on his face as he participated in stations and hugged the team members. What a radiant smile that boy has when uncovered by relentless love!
Thank you FBC Fisherville for loving each man, woman, or child in your path genuinely and relentlessly.
-Sarah T.
Guernsey
What a blessing it was to serve with FBC Brunswick once again! From the very first day this team ever came to Street Reach in 2012, they have been on fire for the Lord and what He is doing in our city. The team arrived for their third summer with no less passion. Everyone was incredibly prepared, so each station ran smoothly. I noticed a theme throughout the week: you know that saying, "time flies when you're having fun?" From the very first day when 12-year-old Kaijha asked me, "Why is today going so fast?" I saw that our kids were having more fun than they ever have before. Even some of our 7-year-old boys whose favorite hobby seems to be complaining about Bible Club cried out in disappointment when I told them we were about to start dismissal. "No! We don't want to go home yet! We don't want to stop having fun!" Those boys weren't at games, where most kids want to stay. They were at Bible story! Our Bible stories were so interesting and interactive. The team always had demonstrations to go along with their story, and as the week went on they would take the kids in smaller groups to answer their questions and make sure they truly understood the point of the story. And the gospel was poured out to each kid in every station, it didn't stay contained in Bible story. Team members had their Bibles out in crafts to explain the gospel to the kids, answer their questions, and tell additional stories, the songs were used to weave the gospel throughout all of their activities, and the games station utilized a "chalk talk" in order to set the foundation of the gospel before playing sports and games. Every day grew in numbers because kids were telling their friends, neighbors, and cousins about Bible Club. On Thursday we ministered to 73 kids, and on Friday we had 9 kids waiting for us on site when we arrived. FBC Brunswick, thank you for your faithfulness in answering God's call and allowing Him to work through you. Through hot weather and crazy kids, you followed Christ's example of humility as portrayed in Philippians 2. We can't wait to see you back in Memphis next year!
-Holly
Johnson

The second week at Johnson was a great one! We had a Calvary team in from St. Louis, Missouri that spanked it all week long. The cheeks could not be any redder. The kids had a great time all week long as the team poured out mentally and physically at a very high level. There is no doubt that the kids at Johnson Bible Club were feeling Jesus's love this past week. On Friday, Johnson had 72 kids! This is the most it has had this summer and it will be a very hard number to beat. This number also included many new kids who had not yet been exposed to Bible Club, so this is very encouraging. Calvary set a great tone for the rest of the summer and continued to build upon the foundation from week one.
-Chris
Whittier
As the temperature climbed this week, so did Whittier club numbers, as we reached our summer record of 70 kids by Friday! The success of this week is fully and completely due to the Lord’s work through the team members of Calvary Baptist Church, as this team was fired up with passion for Whittier kids from day one. Many of our team members had previous relationships with Whittier kids from prior summers at Street Reach, and arrived with excitement to build on those relationships. In each station, Calvary students overflowed with the love of Christ, submitting themselves as vessels for the Lord to use, and making each child feel important and loved as daughters and sons of the King. These team members were experts in flexibility, meeting kids where they were, and using what was important to the children as a basis for their relationships. For example, in the games station, girl team members allowed the older Whittier girls to fix their hair as a way to connect, as our boy team members learned how to play marbles with the older boys to form relationships with them. This kept our older kids engaged with games and in their station, but also showed them that our team members were interested in their lives and hobbies, leading to stronger relationships and thus, leading to gospel conversations. This was a great picture of Christ, as He was always aware of cultures and customs different from His own, and knew how to meet people where they were in order to minister to them most effectively. In Bible story, Whittier kids were challenged to remember the specific pieces that make up the armor of God, as they studied the stories of Jonah, David, and other key figures of Scripture. Each day, kids were asked questions about the previous day’s story, and received prizes for answering questions correctly, encouraging them to focus attentively on the lessons. Team members consistently took initiative with kids, and were careful to not miss opportunities for the Lord to work in them, whether at club or on walking routes. Multiple team members noted that our kids began asking questions about salvation this week, showing that seeds are being planted and that the Spirit is moving in big ways across our site. This week set the bar high for the remainder of the summer, and we cannot wait to see what more the Lord has in store for Whittier and our kids!
-Emily
Kendrick
What a great week in the Kendrick neighborhood!  We had incredible weather and our friends from Yadkin Baptist Church were back in Memphis and they definitely came ready to reach the streets for Jesus! The community is still really pumped to have us back in the neighborhood and keep coming by to say “thanks” for what we are doing. We started the week off Monday with a strong 42 kiddos at Bible Club and things only got better from there. The kids were so excited to see familiar faces and reestablish old friendships. There wasn’t a day that went by when the kids didn't pick up the great crafts that they made with the team, and everyone was quoting their Bible verses and retelling the Bible stories! Songs was a huge success…you know the kids are listening when all day long the older boys are still singing the songs and doing the motions they’d learned, even all the way in the games station! Speaking of the games station--our kids learned so many new fun relays. They also taught me how to play “Polar Bear” which is basically freeze tag where the Polar Bear freezes people and the “heater” can unfreeze them. The kids were hilarious and liked to freeze me each time I came by their station for a water break. Our older kids group has also grown this week with a new family attending club. One of the older girls was a huge help even without being asked. Yadkin was able to finish the week strong with a new record of 45 kids at club on Friday! God is certainly working in our neighborhood and we really can’t wait to see how He will continue moving. Several of the children seem genuinely interested in what is being taught and are asking lots of questions. The oldest group was especially fun to talk with this week and I even got the opportunity to sit with them in some of their stations and share the gospel with them. Continue praying for seeds to be planted, watered, and for a harvest to come.  
-Kacie 
Pope
Despite the heat of the week, Calvary was full of energy and poured out love to the children on Pope Street. There was hardly a time when a kid wasn't hanging onto a team member, and Calvary continued to carry these children with an awesome strength that could have only been provided by the Lord. The team had everything under control which gave us a lot of time to spend interacting with the children. Our team caught attention of the older kids especially well. As we walked around to Bible story and crafts, we noticed 12-year-old boys answering questions correctly about the shield of faith and breastplate of righteousness. Our team learned some new games and now correctly know how to sit like a toilet and let the bible club kids sit on your lap and “flush you” (haha!) At the end of Bible Club on Thursday, we were circled up preparing to go home, and we asked the team to raise their hands if they loved all the kids and wanted them to come back. We weren't prepared for how much the answer to that question would excite our hearts. At that moment, every team member raised their hand while each child looked and smiled at that slice of truth. Not every child understands why we do Bible Club, but that moment gave them at least a small hint. We are beyond grateful for the work Calvary put in on Pope Street this week. They were challenged to leave all their love here and to be beyond exhausted at the end of Friday, and they did just that. We can't wait to see how their effort affects the remainder of summer. Colossians 4:5.
-Alli & Jessica
Jackson

It was another awesome week here at Jackson. We had a great team in from Calvary Church of St. Louis, Missouri, and the kids absolutely adored them! They were full of energy starting on Sunday afternoon and did not stop pouring into the kids until they left on Friday. Songs was so full of energy that I could hear the whole group, even the kids, singing at every part of the park as I walked around. Crafts did a great job by coinciding the craft for the day with Bible story, and they had crafts that the kids could easily do, which kept them engaged. Games spent a lot of time playing with the kids rather than telling them what game to play, which got great energy out of the kids. Bible story talked daily about the armor of God, and the kids took a great liking to this concept. Due to the willing hearts to share the gospel from this group we had one salvation this week: Esperanza. Praise God for all the seeds that were planted this week and for the vast amount of canvassing done by this team. We topped out this week with 50 kids on Friday! We thank you so much for all your hard work and willing hearts.
-Brett & Noah
Leahy's
The first week at Leahy’s Trailer Park was nothing short of unforgettable. Though soccer club has been running in the afternoon, the children have been anxiously awaiting for Bible Club to begin. And what better way to kick that off than with Unity Baptist from Kentucky? Some of the team was returning to Street Reach and for others this was their very first time. Therefore, some knew what to expect while others had no idea. Nonetheless, they all had the most willing spirits, unified as a team. Those willing spirits are what made this week possible. Each day they worked harder and harder! On Wednesday, 38 children came out! Those same 38 each received a Bible that the team had brought for them. This is a perfect example of this teams’ desire to not just sing some songs, do some crafts, and play some games (though those were awesome). The cry of their heart is for each and every one of these children to come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. This was evident throughout the entire week. Unity Baptist came to serve and not be served, and I could not have made it through this week without each and every one of them. Thank you, Unity Baptist, for your compassion, your flexibility, and your persistency. Psalm 27:13-14 says, “I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living! Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!” 
-Nicki
Treadwell
We had great week with FBC Fisherville at Treadwell. The team was full of energy and excitement and the kids had a blast. It was the first week Treadwell ran, and the team did a great job of canvassing and finding the children. We topped out with 42 kids on Thursday. I was amazed at how much time and effort the team put into preparing the Bible stories, crafts, songs, and games, and the children noticed as well. The Bible stories highlighted a different name of God each day, and the kids remembered all of the names and stories, which was wonderful. The kids were shown the love of Christ this week, and they soaked it up.
-Alice
Kippley
It may have been week 3 here at Street Reach, but it was week 1 for Bible Club Kippley--and what a great week it was. This was Hartland Baptist’s first time to come to Street Reach or even do a Bible Club, but the preparation of their hearts to be a source of Christ’s love was evident in all they did. Watching the kids play baseball, dance to the theme song from Gilligan’s Island, make all different colors of crafts, and pay attention to well-taught Bible stories warmed my heart. It was good to know that these kids I’ve come to know and love these past three summers are being taught the life-giving truth of Jesus again. And God is moving. Looking at my records, we only managed to get kids from less than half of the streets we usually walk on, yet God gave us a high of 46 kids on Friday, following a 44 on Wednesday. It has been since 2011 when Kippley had that many kids learning about God’s love for them in one day. The number is of little importance, but the evidence that God is bringing the little ones to Himself is there. Please pray for these kids and that God would continue to work in their lives, that God would invade their hearts and live in them. I look forward to watching God answer your prayers in the weeks to come. TTFN, ta ta for now!
-Kaden
Vernon

This week at Vernon we had a local team from Munford Baptist in the house. This being their second year, they were excited to get to see their favorite and beloved kids. It was a fantastic opening week for Vernon, we peaked at 25 kids and came so close to the all-time record. The team was wild and crazy and the kids loved it. At first, the team was uneasy about their song station, but the kids loved it. Every day the kids couldn't wait until song station. The kids loved to get loud and crazy with the team members and they REALLY loved to dance! The team played freeze dance with the kids and I think the kids taught the team a few crazy dance moves. I'm super excited for the foundation they laid this week and can't wait until Vernon is running again.
-Marcus

Our biggest week of the summer is now over, and it was absolutely amazing! The mission teams who came in poured out everything they had and then some. Seeds have been planted, and the summer is not over yet. Be praying for our next six weeks of Bible Clubs and other community projects as mission teams from all over the country flood in to share the love and gospel of Jesus Christ here in Memphis.

"So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
Philippians 2:1-11

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Week 2-Covenant UMC, Eastern Hills Baptist Church, Good Hope Baptist Church, FBC Monticello, & Loundon Association

Rosamond
This past week at Rosamond was great all around. My heart goes out to the folks from Covenant United Methodist Church who came and loved on the kids this week. Taking a look at the quality AND the quantity of ministry throughout the week, Jesus could be seen through it all. We hit a high of 55 kids at Bible Club on Thursday, and each day we had to call in for extra lunches. God is obviously bringing the harvest and the workers together. One of my favorite moments was on Wednesday, when we moved inside to hide from the heavy downpour…that stopped as soon as we got inside. The youngest group was at Bible story and Ms. Alyssa was asking the kids how we can help others. Little Jirah (or Scoop, if you remember him by that name) said with such plain and understandable speech, “When we do good works.” For those of you who don’t know, Jirah was enrolled in our school this past year after a summer at Bible Club of not really talking, never listening, and always being one of the worst-behaved kids at Bible Club. It was awesome to see what God has done in his life: the changes for His glory and Jirah’s good that He has made in Jirah’s life. I look forward to seeing the fruit that is born in the kids that were loved on this week. Keep praying for these kids and stay tuned for next week’s blog to see the next peek into God’s story for Memphis, TN. Hasta la vista to all and to all a good night.
-Kaden

National
National welcomed Monticello Baptist Church from Monticello, Georgia to serve. For most students in the youth group this was their first mission trip and the transformation in hearts throughout the week was an incredible sight to witness and to hear about on Friday morning when we praised the Lord for what he did throughout the week. On Monday morning we took a short time to read Romans 12:9-20, and every day the teams love continued to be more and more genuine toward the kids. As I was watching all the walking groups be dismissed from the park on Friday afternoon I was overwhelmed with joy. The kids all had a hand to hold or shoulders to ride on and the love that was present was truly flooding the park. Every morning, the Word has been coming alive in the park. Throughout the whole week we had very steady numbers at National in the mid to upper forties. Every day Bible story, crafts, and games did better and better. At Bible story this week the kids acted out all the stories that were taught. For Jonah they had a big boat and whale they had drawn on canvases, for Zacchaeus they gave out a bunch of fake money that would then be handed over as tax money, and every day the kids would walk away from Bible story having memorized the memory verse for the day. At crafts the Bible story was reiterated and matched the memory verse for the day whether the kids were making bracelets, making a whale out of tissue paper, or using their thumb print to make a tree for the story of Zacchaeus. When one game didn't work the team jumped into the next game without hesitation. There was lots of ultimate frisbee games with the older kids and follow the leader with the younger kids. The kids were entertained and learning about Jesus every minute throughout the day. It was such a joy because of Moticello’s willingness to serve and be all in for the kids this week that my jr. staffer, Sarah, and I were able to be a lap in the different stations and really build relationships with the kids. Every child at Bible club got attention that was centered around the genuine love of Christ, and I could not be more thankful that our National kids are being loved with the love of Christ day in and day out. Thank you, Monticello Baptist, for being all in for these kids and demonstrating what love looks like in action and word to these beautiful children.
-Gaby


Guernsey

What a fun week we had at Guernsey with Eastern Hills Baptist Church! This team came in so willing to learn, grow, and serve, and that they did! The ups and downs of the weather brought huge puddles and lots of mud to Bible Club, but it didn't seem to stop the kids from coming. The daily growth in attendance was a testimony to Christ's love and passion being shown through these youth and their leaders. We got all the way up to 77 kids on Friday--what a perfect way to end the week! The team was able to entertain all the kids in each of their stations, no matter how many kids were there, how wild they were acting, or what activity was happening, and when things didn't go exactly how they planned, everyone did a great job being flexible and trusting God to act through them. And so many new kids came, whether they were brand new to Bible Club or kids we hadn't seen since 2013! I was overwhelmed to hear each team member talk about the special divine appointments God had given to them. Sarah and I were so thankful for our first mission team. Their loving and willing spirits set the tone for the coming teams. Thank you, Eastern Hills. We, and more importantly, our kids, had a wonderful and blessed week because of you! I hope our paths cross again.
-Holly

Johnson
The first week of the summer at Johnson was a great one! We had seventeen team members in from the Loundon County Association and they were very willing to love on the kids at Johnson. The kids seemed to be having a lot of fun throughout the week and were even sent home with a bag of treats on Friday. Our biggest day was Wednesday when we had 65 kids. We even had a couple of salvations throughout the week! The team handled the rain great and it was a good way to start off the summer at Johnson. I am sure we will see the fruit from the seeds that Loundon County planted this first week of the summer.
-Chris 


Whittier

Persevering through rain, storms, and lots of mud, Monticello Baptist Church made the first week of Bible Club at Whittier a success! The fact that this team was new to Street Reach was not made evident throughout the week, as they arrived extremely prepared on Sunday, and were always ready for the day ahead. On Monday, 43 smiling faces arrived for their first Bible Club of the summer, and club numbers only grew throughout the week, with 59 kids on our biggest day! This is completely due to the fact that Monticello did not quit knocking on as many doors as possible, as they allowed the Lord to lead them to houses that needed the love of Christ the most. During club, Whittier kids enjoyed being able to be a part of the Bible story each day, dressing up in Biblical attire and acting out stories such as Jonah and the whale, Joseph and his coat of many colors, and Jesus healing the lame man. This helped the stories “click” with the kids, and allowed them to understand and remember each detail. On Thursday, Monticello youth taught the kids about the importance of a relationship with Christ, and how the Lord wants to walk through life with each of us. By the end of the week, kids were able to recite the first step in that process, found in Romans 10:9: “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” What a joy it was to see the Lord use Monticello youth to further His Kingdom!
-Emily

Kendrick
Earlier this year the former Kendrick site was turned into a car lot and the staff and MITs wondered if we’d even be able to run a club for the kids from the neighborhood, but God had everything worked out. A community member whose grandchildren have attended club for years let us know there was an empty lot nearby and the staff got to work on making it into a Bible Club! It’s been great seeing the support of the community this week as we’ve gone out to pick up kids. Many of them expressed genuine concern and appreciation that we still get to have club for the community. Neighbors of all ages have come out to say, “Hi” and let us know how excited they are about us being back in town.  
This is the first week that we have been open for summer 2014, and Good Hope Baptist Church from Dalton, Georgia was back in town. They came prepared and ready to serve the families over by our Kendrick neighborhood! Despite the rainy days and the site being moved, the team kept high spirits and constantly added more and more kids each day. On Friday, we doubled Monday’s number of 18 and ended up with 36 kids at club. Mrs. Jamie came prepared with tons of crafts for each day--the kids of every age were so excited to see what she’d bring next. Games was never ending fun with crazy relays and obstacle courses built by our team. We even have a makeshift basketball goal! Of course one of the most important reasons we’re out there is Bible story, and our team came ready to captivate the attention of our kiddos with cool props, skits for the kids to perform, and fun games! It was so neat to see the impact of being back in the community. We were able to meet a college student that used to attend club as a child and a grandmother (whose children attended years ago) brought her granddaughter for her first ever Bible Club!  Needless to say it was a great week at Kendrick! The Lord really showed out and blew all of our expectations out of the water! We can’t wait to see how He’ll work in the lives of our children over the next 7 weeks! 
-Kacie & Marcus

Pope
The starting week of a summer at Pope was absolutely unbelievable.  With the energetic help of Eastern Hills Baptist Church, we finished the week with so many new kids on our heart. I’d say this week, as opposed to the weeks coming up, was one of total learning. Learning who likes to push our buttons, who will run away looking back and smiling (J-Money), and who will make us smile at the end of the day (which I’d say is all the kids). Not only did we learn faces and personalities, we also learned what crafts do and don’t work, the basketballs that go flat easily and the games that will end in “he cheated!” It was so awesome to see the kids who will continue to come to Bible Club all summer and needless to say I have never been more excited!
It's hard to see teams go at the end of the week because you can tell they are starting to get used to things on Pope Street. They know how to get there, which houses have the most kids, and how each child likes to be loved. As hard as it was to see our first week end, I am absolutely positive that this team was placed here on purpose. At the end of the week, I was able to share with my team (and myself) that our joy in Christ is connected with God’s Glory. As followers of Christ and missionaries of the gospel (Matthew 28:18-20) our joy we have inside of us must be shared. If you keep the joy inside of you and don’t use it to love others, the joy will quickly die, so we must go and tell the world, whether in Texas or on Pope Street.
Regardless He is good. John 3:30.
-Alli  


Jackson
This was a great first week at the Jackson Bible Club site. A group from Loundon County Association ran site this week, and they did a great job! Our songs station literally “rocked the blues away” bop-shoe-bop and really had the kids engaged throughout the entire week. Our crafts had great ideas, which really illustrated their preparedness for the week. They had the kids making puppets, bracelets, crowns, and even murals, which involved paint! What a brave group! The games station ran smoothly with a mixture of relay races, duck-duck-goose, bubbles for the little ones, and even a water day! Last, and certainly not least, was our Bible story station. The group took turns telling the daily Bible story, which gave the children different perspectives, but each member reiterated the importance and significance of having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We were blessed to have 4 salvations this week! Praise God! The group came in on Sunday with wide eyes and willing hearts ready to love on the children at Jackson. They persevered through the rain to have a very successful week that topped out at 46 kids! What a blessing they were to us at Street Reach this week. Thank y’all for an amazing week with our kids!
-Alice & Brett

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Week 1-Briarwood Baptist Church & Mt. View Baptist Church

Rosamond
Bible Club Rosamond had a great first week thanks to the Spirit-filled efforts of Mt. View Baptist Church. With the exception of a few runners, almost all of the children were extremely well behaved, and every one of them enjoyed each station. The games got better and better throughout the week, crafts was always top notch, and I have never heard so many children able to repeat the Bible story to me. I remember one moment, right after hearing the story of Jonah and the whale, little Chi Chi ran away from the Bible story station. I went up to her and asked her what she was doing. She started acting all cute as to not get in trouble, so I started acting like a missionary and asked her about the Bible story. She started telling me all about the story! “This guy who God said go here and he said, "I’ma go here" and a big fish swallowed him three days!” Each part of the story came with its own set of motions and excited movements. She continued to finish the entire story and I was so impressed that this little 6-year-old girl who used to never pay attention was retaining so much of the Bible story. There truly is power in God’s Word. I am so thankful for the hard work of this team and their willingness to love these kids. It really gives me joy to see the kids I had spent a summer growing to love last year continue to be cared for and loved by others. So please, everyone be praying for the next 8 weeks and the next 8 churches who will be here, hand-picked by God, to bring Jesus to the streets. The harvest is plentiful.
-Kaden
National
Towards the end of the week, during one of our morning meetings together as a team, I shared 1 Peter 4:8-11: Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of Gods varied grace; whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God suppliesin order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.God reminded me of these verses as a reflection of the attitude this team had all throughout the week. 
To kick off the summer at National, Briarwood Baptist Church from Watkinsville, Georgia came to serve. At the beginning of the week they had no idea what to expect, but had the most willing spirit to serve, unified as a team. It was something special to see such willing and giving spirits in a team right from the start, and that never faded throughout the week. Briarwood Baptist laid a foundation for the summer and for all the teams that will serve at National. They knocked on door after door, and on one route they were bringing back 20 plus kids from just one street consistently! Our record day was on Wednesday when 60 kids came to Bible club. As I was talking to some of the kids this week who had arrived early at Bible club I asked, "Why do you come to Bible club every day?" and they responded "To learn about Jesus." Already, in just the first week of the summer, Gods name is shining forth and these kids are listening to the teams as they share Jesus in word and action. Briarwood took the initiative to leave what may have been comfortable and provide lots of energy for the kids to feed off.
Over the past few summers as I have been honored to be able to write about the happenings at National, I have yet to write about a team that is so willing with servants hands open and feet going, doing, and being in this community. Their willingness to serve and love is what made the week a fabulous start to the summer. To both me and Sarah T. (Jr. Staffer), they were a huge encouragement to keep going this summer no matter what the circumstances and there is no doubt God handpicked each one of them to be here this past week to get us ready for the next eight weeks of the summer. Thank you for the encouragement, Briarwood Baptist, that you brought to the kids at National and to us as an entire Street Reach staff. Just as Peter says, all glory to Jesus Christ. He deserves it all! 
-Gaby 
Guernsey
This week, Guernsey Bible Club was nothing short of being incredibly blessed. God had His hand on each home, family, child, and missionary. There was no team to run Bible Club at Guernsey for week 1, but the Street Reach staff willingly and joyfully stepped up to serve the community. We had Bible Club at Guernsey every single day this week, and the numbers blew us away. 77 kids came out on Wednesday! There are already over 100 kids enrolled at Guernsey Bible Club, and the fruit is hanging low for the coming 8 weeks. The kids who came all week were able to memorize five Bible verses that will most likely stick with them throughout the entire summer. They also acted out the Bible stories and understood them as the missionaries put them into cultural context. Games, crafts, and songs were hopping with tons of fun activitiesthe kids didn't get a chance to be bored, even for a second! It was beautiful to see how many children came back from previous summers and were so ready to be loved on and poured into. Personally, I was so encouraged to see how many kids' attitudes have been changing as they grow older and grow in the strength, love, and light of the Lord. Me, Sarah S., and the rest of the staff are waiting excitedly and expectantly to see what God is going to do at Guernsey this summer. Be praying for our mission teams and children, because God wants to do BIG stuff at G-street this summer!
-Holly

"Walk about Zion, go around her, number her towers, consider well her ramparts, go through her citadels, that you may tell the next generation that this is God, our God forever and ever. He will guide us forever."
Psalm 48:12-14